Norwich City fans will have eye on Stoke’s Europa League tie
Norwich City fans could be forgiven for having on eye on European competition tonight.
It's Stoke City's Europa League third qualifying round game against Hajduk Split which will be of interest – because Tony Pulis' team are due to be the first Premier League opponents to play at Carrow Road in the new season.
They are pencilled in for Saturday, August 20, but if Stoke get through both legs of their tie against the Croatians, it seems inevitable that the fixture will be postponed, perhaps to the following day, with Europa League matches occupying a traditional Thursday evening spot.
The second leg against Hajduk is on Thursday, August 4 – and Pulis is hoping that by then Stoke will have given themselves a good platform.
'It's exciting times,' he said. 'It's part of what has been a fantastic five years at the football club. To have the opportunity of playing a European game at the Britannia against such a famous side as Split is first class. We're all looking forward to it.
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'We think they're a good side. We've watched tapes of them from the back end of last season and pre-season and we've been out and watched them. We know a little bit about them.
'But it's a home game for us and irrespective of what they do or they don't do, the priority is that we're prepared, we're right and give it the best shot we possibly can.
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'Today and tomorrow will all be about us, it won't be about Split. Out of the teams we could have been drawn against, this is as hard a game as we could have had, but it's great and it's really caught the imagination of the local public.
'The place will be rocking. They tell me the atmosphere in Split is fantastic - well let's see what they think of our atmosphere.'
Fulham, who have already come through two qualifying rounds to get this far, are also in action this evening – against another team from Split. They have travelled to Croatia to take on RNK.
Scottish hopefuls Hearts have also headed to Eastern Europe to take on Hungarian outfit Paks.